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"I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors.
In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than 25 hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa. Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually he would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit then-U.S. Attorney Rudy Giuliani would name him as one of only two non-Italians on a list of 26 top mob figures.
When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, he did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself. Sheeran's important and fascinating story includes new information on other famous murders, and provides rare insight to a chapter in American history. Charles Brandt has written a page-turner that is destined to become a true crime classic.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Grace Azul on 05-30-10
Don't give up!
I almost quit this book after the first chapter. It was tedious, trying to figure out who all the various individuals are that are mentioned. I am so glad I continued. Although some middle parts drag on, from Chapter 28 on it is an emotional ride and well worth waiting for. I learned so much about the mafia from this book, their lingo and their strategizing. It is hard to listen to the cold, calcuated way that individuals are disposed of in order to clear the path for another individual's rise to power. But to hear the life of a mafioso in his own words and the ultimate toll it eventually exacts on his conscience is riveting. Don't give up on this book if you initially get tangled up in all the characters described. It is well worth your time. This is the first review of an audiobook I have ever written, but felt the need to express its worth. I am still haunted by this book.
12 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Mary A on 06-06-09
If you like The Godfather, you'll love this book.
I love a mob story, and this is the real thing. Every bit as suspenseful and well-written as a best-selling novel, this true confession weaves a web of corruption and violence throughout the most powerful union in the country. The ties to top government officials, legislators, FBI, and even the President is so well researched and documented, it will leave you questioning everything you ever believed about our government. The human portrait of this very real hit-man as a husband, father, and friend made me see him as likeable, and in the end, tragic. Scott Brick's narration is perfect for this book.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Paul McAviney on 01-29-15
Really enjoyable and historic account
Very detailed and yet still entertaining storytelling. Amazing insight into a strange time and some very strange and mean people.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Andrew on 10-22-16
His involvement is dubious it now seems
Despite perhaps a few 'stretcher's' it's
excellently written and researched account of mob/unions/government intanglments.